Three Speed Pub Crawl is THIS SATURDAY, January 25. Spots still available!

Hey there! Do you like three speed bicycles? Like riding three speed bicycles? Like imbibing adult beverages? Then come on this Three Speed Pub Crawl presented by Society of Three Speeds!

The pub crawl is Saturday January 25 from 4 PM to about 8. We’ll hit up at least three pubs. The vague theme of the “crawl” is Scottish, with a dash of Lunar New Year thrown in.

We’ll let you know where the start is about a week before the event. The route will be a mystery. The locations will all be on the east side of the Willamette River, not going more than three miles north or south of Burnside, and not going east of 82nd. End spot will be transit accessible.

This event is FREE, but all beverages will be paid for by YOU. And maybe you should consider buying your ride leader a drink? 😉

Three Speed Bicycles recommended, but if you don’t have one, ride what you brung.

We’ll also have Society of Three Speeds memberships available for purchase, along with other swag.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Please go to Eventbrite to register.

Raleigh Club Cycles 1934-1942

Hello friends! Just wanted to let people know about a cool post on the On The Drops blog. It’s about Raleigh Club Cycles, those lovely and rare lightweight three speeds from the ’30’s. Peter C. Koehler has a lot to say about these beauts:

With names like Super Sports, Streak, Golden Arrow, Clipper, Special Club, Silver Record and Golden Four, the Raleigh and Humber club cycles of the ‘thirties with their trim good looks, distinctive transfers and livery, celluloid mudguards, Sturmey-Archer gears and their riders in Alpaca cycling jackets with rolled up sleeves and open spread collar shirts, evoke a quaint and civil world of cycling on largely car-free roads amid unspoilt rural settings. They also represented a Golden Age for Raleigh as well as British cycling then enjoying the peak of its popularity.  Club riders were part of a new national appreciation of the countryside, health and fitness, a carefree idyll cut short by the War and diminished after it by cars, congestion and suburban sprawl.

You can go read the full post here.

What is ahead for Society of Three Speeds in 2020

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! You just read about how our 2019 shaped up. What about the future?

Well, I intend on having another robust year of events and challenges. I have a general blueprint of what I want to do. I’m refraining on setting all the exact dates just yet, since things may change and I don’t want to run into a situation with the 2019 postcard, when I had events listed that got changed.

So, here’s what is going to happen, so far:

  • January. We’ll have the Three Speed Pub Crawl on Saturday January 25. Register here.
  • April. The Adventure April Challenge will return again. We will also have a Three Speed Day Tour from Portland to Oregon City on Saturday April 18th. It’ll be like the one we did in April 2019 with some changes. Registration will be required, and should be live by February.
  • Mid-summer (probably August): A Three Speed Bike Campout weekend! This should be going again to Stub Stewart State Park, about 35 miles NW of Portland. Registration will be required, and should be live by June.
  • October. The October Challenge will return once again! And I plan on another Portland area Day Tour (somewhere in the 20 mile vicinity) that will probably be in an area we haven’t explored yet, yet still accessible by transit.

While the overall blueprint of 2020 is pretty similar to 2019, there will be some changes:

  • Adventure April: I’m toying with the idea of going with “paper reporting only” for the challenges. There’s been enough headaches with online forms and I don’t particularly enjoy looking at spreadsheets. Basically, you’ll have to mail in (via post!) your reports. I’ll have specific instructions closer to the challenge. Also, I’m probably going to reduce the amount of challenges down to three.
  • Pedalpalooza: Unless I get a wild hair up my arse, I don’t plan on doing a Three Speed Ride during Pedalpalooza, Portland’s month-long bicycle fun celebration every June. I’ve done a ride every PP since 2012. The first couple seemed to be great, but it’s been diminishing returns since then. The big reason is that I open it up to “all bikes”. While this means I can get decent numbers of participants (in 2019 I had 20 people), it also means that three speeds constitute a third to under half of all riders. I had hoped that doing this open class ride during the primest time to do it would mean publicity for the Society and people getting “turned on” to three speeds. But I don’t really feel like that’s been the case. Part of my 2020 strategy is to keep my Pedalpalooza events capped at four so I don’t burn out. Somethings got to give, and in this case it’ll be three speeds.
  • Bike Camping. I’ve threatened to do a Three Speed Willamette Valley Tour a few times, but never have pursued it fully. There doesn’t seem to be a real interest by people other than me (and Tim). I hope to tackle it on my own at some point, but I still want to promote Bike Camping via Three Speed. That’s one of the reasons why I made the Three Speed Camping sticker! So it’s time to do another group camping trip! Stub Stewart is a great spot for one because it’s about a 22 mile ride from the end of light rail on either quiet country roads or a bike path. And it’s not that hilly, either. So I’m hoping to schedule it in later summer, perhaps in August.
  • October Challenge. Like the April Challenge, I intend on doing paper reporting only. I also may shorten the timeframe from the five-plus weeks it is currently at. And it seems like my changes to how the weeks were counted confused more than it helps, so I may go back to a Sunday-through-Saturday week structure again. And I’ll probably ditch the “extra challenges”.
  • Out of Town Rides: Despite the rain, the Seattle Three Speed Ride was lots of fun. I want to do another one up there, but probably in summer when there’s less a chance of getting poured on. I also want to do a ride in at least one more city, which shall be determined.

Okay, an ambitious year ahead! Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Feel free to post them in the comments. Happy New Year and hope to see you on the road in 2020!

A Three Speed Year in Review: 2019

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! It’s been an eventful year ’round the SoTS HQ. With bike rides, challenges, and membership kits, it’s one of our biggest years yet. How did it shape up? Here’s a blow-by-blow of the milestones:

  • January: We had a modest Three Speed Get-Together at Montavilla Brew Works. A half-dozen people showed up, and of course we chatted about three speeds!
  • April: A big month. The Three Speed Adventure April Challenge took up a good deal of my time. About 20 people participated. I also led my first Three Speed Day Tour to Oregon City. This was a smash, with ten people joining me to see the fabled Willamette Falls. And finally we had our first Sturmey Archer AW Hub Overhaul workshop at the Community Cycling Center. Patrick Loftus showed about ten people how to fix this fabled hub.
  • June: As has been my custom since 2012, I led a Three Speed Ride during Pedalpalooza. We had a good crew of 20 turn out, and I led them from the Vera Katz Statue to Sellwood via the Willamette River Greenway. It was a fun time, but since this was my “any bike can join ride”, there was less than half on three speeds.
  • October: Another big month! This was the time of the Three Speed October Challenge. This year we had about 30 people successfully complete the challenge, a record! On top of that, I led a Three Speed Ride here in Portland and my first “out of town” one in Seattle.

And I’ve done a brisk business in new memberships. This year we’ve welcomed about 60 new members to the club! We now stand at 245 members from all over the world.

It was an exciting year, and more excitement is on the horizon for 2020…

Three Speed Pub Crawl, Sat 25 Jan

Hey there! Do you like three speed bicycles? Like riding three speed bicycles? Like imbibing adult beverages?

Come on this Three Speed Pub Crawl presented by Society of Three Speeds! We’ll hit up at least three pubs. The vague theme of the “crawl” is Scottish, with a dash of Lunar New Year thrown in.

This pub crawl will happen on Saturday January 25, 2020. We’ll start at 4 PM and go until about 8, or whenever our energy/desire runs out.

We’ll let you know where the start is about a week before the event. The route will be a mystery. The locations will all be on the east side of the Willamette River, not going more than three miles north or south of Burnside, and not going east of 82nd. End spot will be transit accessible.

This event is FREE, but all beverages will be paid for by YOU. And maybe you should consider buying your ride leader a drink? 😉

Three Speed Bicycles recommended, but if you don’t have one, ride what you brung.

We’ll also have Society of Three Speeds memberships available for purchase, along with other swag.

Want to come along? Please register here.

Time to "renew" your SoTS membership?

Hello friends of three speeds! It is still true what I’ve said since 2013: Once a member, always a member of Society of Three Speeds.

But for those of you who purchased a membership around this time last year, one thing is going to expire: the bonuses. This means you won’t get any of the postcards I send through the year (four to six) or any other cool extras I may apply.

So now is a good time to “renew” your membership. For $15 plus shipping/handling, you’ll still another full year of postcards, plus any extras! All you need to be is an existing member of Society of Three Speeds. You can do that here. But if you don’t, no more postcards!

Psst! Are you a pre-2018 member, and want to get the cool new patch, buttons, and stickers you see above? Consider buying the Deluxe Membership for $30 (plus shipping/handling). You’ll get all that stuff I mention, plus you’ll get a year of postcards bundled in!